Sunday, October 30, 2016

REVIEW - Casio AP260 Digital Piano - Recommended - Celviano - Low Price

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
UPDATED REVIEW - February 20, 2017Casio AP260 Digital Piano - Recommended - The Casio company is famous for producing a huge line of popular home and professional digital pianos & keyboards for many decades and the current model AP260 furniture cabinet digital piano ($1049 internet discount price) in one of them. Casio makes good, solid products at bargain prices for what you are getting. Casio has always been looked at as a company which makes high quality consumer electronics such as calculators, watches, cameras, and hundreds of other digital products owned by millions of people throughout the world. Their digital piano division is the fastest growing digital piano brand in the US with thousands upon thousands of sales and you can find many of their models for sale on the internet and in some pianos stores across the country.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
The Casio AP260 is the lowest priced model in their Celviano line of digital pianos. The Celviano line is designated for their more traditional furniture cabinets with full size privacy back panel (as compared with 1/2 size in other brands), full size & full length brass pedals which is important, improved speaker sound over other brands & models, a long 5 year in-home parts & labor factory warranties which is much longer than any other brand in this price range, and the Celviano's have a matching bench included. Their is a total of 128-notes of polyphony processing power in the sound chip of this piano which is plenty of polyphony for most people who play the piano. Getting above 200 notes of polyphony would be useful if you are doing extensive multi-track recording or multi-layering of at least 4 instrument sounds together, both of which the AP260 cannot do.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
The Casio AP260 offers what I consider to be to best overall digital piano in a traditional piano cabinet of all the major brands in this price range including Yamaha. My opinion is based on a number of things including the control panel and buttons of the AP260 is above the keyboard in front of the player for ease of use and more intuitive operation. Other pianos in this price range have a very basic control panel to the very left side of the keyboard so that the operation is more difficult and much less intuitive. The AP260 has Casio's best key action under $2000 with textured synthetic ebony and ivory keytops and 3-senor electronics under each key. No other new furniture cabinet digital piano under $1200 has these features and they are very good to have for a more authentic piano playing experience.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
The AP260 has a lot of built-in digital features so that you can do more than just play piano. Some people just want a digital piano to mostly play piano and they just use the built-in acoustic piano sounds of which this model has five very good stereo acoustic piano reproductions including concert, mellow, bright, jazz, etc. However, for those people who want to do more than just play piano and may want to get into the "menu" to edit or use other functions, there is a big list of those features which can be accessed off the front panel and additionally by using a function button and pressing an assigned key on the keyboard at the same time time, which is pretty easy to do. These digital features include the following: 18 total instrument sounds including strings, harpsichord, organs, choirs, electric pianos, etc. The non-acoustic instrument sounds are definitely in a higher class of authenticity than other brands of digital pianos in this price range including Yamaha and Roland, in my opinion. Other features include Reverb Efx, Chorus, Brilliance, Layer balance, Duet pan, Bass damper effect, Damper noise, Music Library song select, Tempo, Beat, Metronome tempo, Metronome beat, Concert Play song, Play/Stop, Lesson Play, Concert Play, Concert Play volume, Music Library volume, Metronome volume, Temperament, Temperament Base note, Temperament select, Touch response, Transpose, Keyboard tuning, Octave shift, USB device mode, Local control, Send channel, Operation tone, Back up, and Operation lock.

Beyond the long list of functions that I just mentioned, the most popular and utilized features on a digital piano that people ask for (which is on the AP260) are being able to layer two different instrument sounds together at the same time (such as piano & strings), split two different sounds (one sound on left side, one sound on right such as piano and bass), be able to have two people (students) play the piano at the same time side by side playing the exact same part in the same octave (this feature is called, "duet"), and be able to record two separate tracks independently (left & right hand) and then play them back separately or at the same time and save that song. The 2-track MIDI recording (left and/or right hand or two independent sounds recorded on top of each other) is a great feature when trying to learn a new song or get a sense of how each hand sounds by itself when playing. The AP260 has all of these features which is very unusual in this price range and makes owning this piano more enjoyable.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com The AP260 also has some good connectivity to headphones with two headphone jacks on the front of the piano for private playing and also a USB output connection for use with a tablet (iPad) or computer to extend the types of musical things you can do. There is a fairly powerful speaker system in this model which includes two speakers going through 16 watts of stereo power which does a good job filling a home or studio. There are no audio input or output connections which I would have preferred and they can be useful, but unfortunately the other major brands in this price range (Yamaha, Kawai) don't have them either. I do like the fact that the AP260 has 3 full size brass pedals for a realistic pedal movement experience which is important for players and for students who are progressing in their playing skill level.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
However, the most important hings in a piano is key action and piano sound, and this is where the AP260 really shines in its price range. The Casio AP260 key action moves smoothly and is nicely balanced and weighted (not too heavy, not too light) for a fairly realistic piano playing experience. I like the key action much better than the competitive Yamaha YDP143 ($1099 internet price) as well as the fact that the Casio AP260 has a 3-sensor key action which helps with better key repetition recognition when playing the keys at a faster velocity. The piano sound dynamic tonal range is also much wider and more distinct on this model than many other piano brands I have played and that allows for greater tonal expression in the music you are playing. When you couple the responsive key action along with the acoustic piano sound reproduction and then you add the pedaling sustain and automatic damper resonance response and overall volume coming out of this piano, I believe most people will be quite impressed with the result.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
One very cool feature that the AP260 offers which no other furniture cabinet piano does in this price range is the "Concert Play" feature. There is a library of fully orchestrated popular classical songs that play back as audio wav files (like a CD recording) so that you can listen and play along to completely authentic professional quality music that sounds like the orchestra is inside of your piano. This is super fun, sounds great, and also allows the player to play along in a mode called "lesson play." Obviously there is a lot this piano can do, and although there are digital pianos which can do even more, sound even bigger & better, and have an even more upgraded cabinet like the higher price Casio Celviano AP460 ($1499 internet price), those pianos cost more money. If you want to stay closer to $1000, the AP260 is probably more than enough piano for the average piano student or player.

Casio AP260 Piano Review - AZPianoNews.com
I do recommend the Casio AP260 and it also has two attractive cabinet colors that are available which include satin brown walnut or satin black with nicely designed cabinet, full size music rack, built-in metal key cover, and includes matching piano style bench. The 5 year in-home service factory warranty on both parts and labor shows that the Casio company is serious about their instruments and should give a purchaser the confidence they need to buy this piano if it fits their needs. If you are looking for an instrument with a more traditional appearance that weighs a mere 87 lbs and measures approx 54" wide and 17" deep (from the wall) which is fairly compact, want an enjoyable piano sound and playing experience, some other useful and fun digital features, easy operation, and trying to stay around the $1000 price range, then you should definitely consider the Casio Celviano AP260 as a digital piano which may be a perfect fit for your musical needs.

If you want more info on new digital pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet discounts, please email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call direct at 602-571-1864.

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